Radio al Balad Abu Zayed says Syrian refugees in Jordan will not return

Syrian journalist Agyad Abo Zayed said, at an EU conference, Wednesday, that the majority of refugees in Jordan will not return to their country at the present time due to the continuing security and economic instability in their country.

Abo Zayed also called on the international community to continue supporting medical services to Syrian refugees, especially in the field of supporting medical treatment for difficult cases such as dialysis, treatment of cancer cases, and other difficult cases. "Although 4,600 Syrian refugees have returned from Jordan, this number constitutes a very small percentage of the Syrian refugees residing in Jordan," he said at the Brussels-based conference. Abu Zaid also informed conferees that six Syrians lost their lives in part due to the inability of getting full medical services for their cases.

The speech of Abo Zayed, the producer, and presenter of the "Syrians Among Us" radio program, came at the invitation of the institutions affiliated with the "Himam” and the "Jonaf" civil society coalition for the conference "Supporting the Future of Syria" held in the Belgian capital, Brussels. The one-day conference included wide participation from representatives of humanitarian institutions operating in Syria and neighboring countries, including Lebanon and Jordan.


The EU’s dialogue with civil society leaders includes side meetings with all parties related to the situation of the Syrians, and a number of representatives of Jordanian and Lebanese civil society institutions will meet with representatives of the European Union on  Thursday and Friday morning.





Below is the full text of Agyad Abo Zayad intervention:


For a variety of reasons, Syrian refugees are not willing at present to return to Syria. The international community must continue to support the refugees and empower them economically and socially, along with the host communities.


Last year, about 4,600 refugees returned from Jordan, and this return is considered a small number in view of the number of refugees, as more than a million Syrians live, including 660,000 registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, where almost a fifth of them live in three official camps, which are Zaatari, Azraq, and Emirati Blue.


Therefore, donors must continue their support to Jordan at this difficult time, as the situation remains precarious with limited resources, and declining humanitarian funding.

Refugees still face many challenges in various sectors, most notably health, education and work. Through my daily work with Syrian refugees on Radio Al-Balad and Qudra II,  we receive cases daily, many of which we have analyzed.


Regarding the health sector, the Jordanian government treats refugees as able-bodied Jordanian citizen who do not have health insurance, but sixty-six percent of the refugees are poor, so they are unable even to go to government health centers.


We produced a video report about kidney failure after funding stopped. In this video refugees face difficulties are they are faced with the challenge of survival. Six refugee patients died as a result of lack of care, and you can watch the video on the Amman Net website.


This is also the case for patients with cancer and chronic diseases.

Therefore, by raising the budget for the health file to treat Syrian patients like their Jordanian peers, especially costly diseases such as cancer and kidney failure.


As for the labor sector, most refugees work in the unorganized sector, and this exposes them to violations, and the reason is due to the weakness and decline of job opportunities in light of the current economic situation.


Women, girls and youth continue to face emerging and deepening needs such as workplace discrimination and harassment, gender-based violence, poor learning outcomes and access to higher education, early marriage and child labour.


I would like to point out here that the decline in financing projects for Syrian refugees in Jordan last year affected them and reduced efforts for social and economic integration.


I would like to share some of the recommendations that we came out with during our participation in the Hear Our Voice conference, which was held in Jordan:


With regard to the participation of civil society organizations and local organizations:

Donors and international actors should provide adequate funding and assistance to civil society, particularly local organizations.

- It is essential that refugees be a partner in planning, to ensure that their needs are identified, their rights are protected and that the solutions provided guarantee physical, material and legal safety and protection.


Regarding protection:

- Donor countries and international actors must call for the legalization of the status of Syrian refugees within the host countries, including the recognition of their educational certificates, work permits, and identification cards (identity) within the framework of international refugee law, if possible, or the framework of human rights, if it is not applied. Refugee law.



As for financing:


Donors should support the institutional capacity sharing of local organizations, to deal with operational barriers, support program management, financial sustainability, risk management and professional development of staff and provide them with what it takes to design activities with long-term goals.


With regard to supporting local organizations and coordination mechanisms:


Donors and international actors should ensure that appropriate levels of funding and human resources are provided to local organizations, coordination mechanisms and consortia, to enhance their capacities and enable effective representation of organizations at all levels of policy and decision-making.

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